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March 22
1875 - Construction begins on San Fernando Railroad Tunnel [story]
San Fernando Railroad Tunnel

Maeesha Merchant, Vice President of Finance & Operations, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Photo: Rafael Hernandez, Courtesy of CalArts.

Maeesha Merchant, Vice President of Finance & Operations,
California Institute of the Arts.
Photo: Rafael Hernandez, Courtesy CalArts.

California Institute of the Arts is pleased to announce that Maeesha Merchant has been appointed Vice President of Finance & Operations.

She will serve in a dual role as the Institute’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Innovation Officer. Merchant served in this position on an interim basis during the previous 10 months.

In this role, she demonstrated a thorough understanding of the unique opportunities offered by the Institute while showing the skills, experience, and leadership to achieve these goals.

“We came to know Maeesha during her time as Interim VP, and have witnessed the significant strengths that she brings to this position,” said CalArts President Ravi Rajan.

“She demonstrated a keen recognition that CalArts is an exceptional school with a special culture and quickly established herself as an integral member of CalArts’ senior executive team, earned the respect of her colleagues, and has provided strong leadership on a range of key projects, including our important visioning work which will commence this coming year,” Rajan said.

“This is a pivotal time in CalArts history, with record-breaking student enrollment; its 50th-anniversary celebration just on the horizon, in 2021; and most importantly, the appointment of a new president after 29 years, who brings with him a new, audacious vision for the organization,” Merchant said.

“Over the past 10 months, I have had the unparalleled opportunity to fill the role of VP of Finance and Operations,” she said. “Through this experience, my passion for the Institute and what it brings to the world has only strengthened, and my mind remains focused on CalArts’ future success.”

Merchant comes to CalArts from Deloitte Consulting, where she spent nearly a decade in Strategy & Operations, as well as Global Innovation in sectors including higher education and state government.

Prior to Deloitte, she worked for Oliver Wyman as a financial services management consultant.

Merchant is the co-founder and CEO of Andromeda Solutions, an education technology start-up. She is passionate about education and has worked with LAUSD on launching entrepreneurial programs and partnered with non-profits like XPRIZE.

Merchant graduated from the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania with a BSc in Economics with a concentration in Finance, from the Wharton School of Business, a BAS in Biomedical Sciences, and a BA in International Relations.

California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970, offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools — Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater.


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  1. Anita Merchant says:

    Maeesha…You are an exceptionally talented focused person.Your determination and continued perseverance through out your tenure at various institutions has culminated in you having reached this position at such a young age.
    I wish you a wonderful journey in accomplishing all
    your endeavors and challenges….God bless!

  2. Anita Merchant says:

    My dear Maeesha..Congratulations for your new assignment .You have always been a very focused and determined person through out your tenure at various institutions .By your continuous effort and perseverance you have achieved this prestigious position at a very young age. I wish you a very successful journey in achieving all your future endeavors and challenges…God bless!

  3. POONAM BHASIN says:

    Congratulations Maeesha darling, well done in your field, you have made all of us so PROUD ??? I wish you all the Success in your future ❤️❤️❤️

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